University Of Tasmania
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Mrs Henry Dobson : Victorian 'do - gooder' or sincere social reformer : an analysis of her charitable and public welfare work in the 1890's

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posted on 2023-05-27, 08:52 authored by Taylor, AR
When Mrs Henry Dobson died on the fifth of June 1934 at the age of 91, a lifetime of devoted and continual service to Tasmanian public and social welfare work came to a close. For more than fifty years Mrs Dobson had supported a wide range of philanthropic and public causes, and there were very few she did not help, either financially or with personal assistance, at some time or other. Not only was she President of the Free Kindergarten Association, the Women's Committee of the Blind, Deaf and Dumb Children 's Society and the Ministering Children's League, but she was also the Vice-President of the Tasmanian Branch of the League of Nations Union, the Victoria League of Tasmania, the Child Welfare Association, the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Art Society. Apart from these positions of honour, she was also the founder of the Victoria Convalescent Home, the Women's Health Association, the Lyceum Club, the Tasmanian Sanatorium for Consumptives and the Tasmanian Alliance Francaise. She was the first State Commissioner for the Girl Guides, the Life Patroness of the Bush Nursing Organization and the Australian representative, as appointed by Alfred Deacon, to the International Women's Suffrage Convention. In addition, Mrs Dobson devoted the last thirty years of her life to supporting the National Council of Women, of which she was the Tasmanian and Australian President and an International Vice President and Life Member. Her activity in the majority of these organizations falls outside the period with which this dissertation will be primarily concerned. However, her association, in the 1890 's, with the National Council of Women, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the Ministering Children's League, the Blind, Deaf and Dumb Society, and the Victoria Convalescent Home, will come under discussion, along with her activities in several other organizations not mentioned in her obituary, the most notable being the Women's Sanitary association, the Village Settlement Committee, the Brabazon Society and the Union Jack association. Aside from her extensive activities in these dozens of organizations, she also found time to spend ten years of her life at sea, making thirty-three trips to Britain and Europe and sixty seven trips away from the state. To illustrate the remarkable energy of this woman one must mention the fact that her last trip to Britain was made in 1933 at the grand old age of ninety!


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